Rep. Chaffetz: 'Common ground' exists for eliminating tax loopholes

The fight over the possible elimination of certain loopholes and deductions has been central to recent budget battles, with Democrats insisting that a deal include new revenues from the elimination of tax breaks for wealthy individuals and corporations. Republicans have not ruled out reforming the tax code, but have maintained that such changes should be offset by lowering tax rates overall, rather than providing new revenues to the government.

"We fundamentally do not agree that we're one tax raise away from prosperity," Chaffetz said Monday.

The Utah lawmaker was also pressed on why House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) budget apparently incorporates new revenues from the "fiscal cliff" deal struck in January — a sign that Republicans now acknowledge rates on the wealthiest Americans should be allowed to rise.

"We've lost a number of things," Chaffetz allowed.

The Tea Party congressman also defended the Ryan budget from reports that it would repeal the president's signature healthcare law, a move that would effectively leave it dead on arrival.

"If the Democrats disagree then they have a duty to put forward a budget and show us, show the rest of the country how they expect to do it ... if we're going to ... [balance the budget] in 10 years, because the spending is so out of control, this is one of the tools and mechanisms," Chaffetz said.